08 Dec 2020

Closer to a COVID-normal Christmas and events return in 2021

Welcome news today with a further easing of restrictions next week, that will take us closer to a ‘COVID-normal’ Christmas. It comes as SA Health announced zero new cases of COVID-19 today, and zero active cases now in South Australia.

Effective 12.01am Monday 14 December, the following restriction changes impacting our tourism, hospitality and events sectors include:

  • Stand up drinking will be permitted in all licensed venues (both indoors and outdoors)
  • Cap on private functions at licensed venues lifted to 200 (including weddings and funerals)
  • Increase of limits in entertainment venues (e.g. cinemas and theatres) from 50% capacity without facemasks up to 75% capacity with masks indoors
  • Work from Home advice will be lifted, and staff encouraged to return to the office from Monday 14 December.

In addition, the COVID SAfe Check-In QR code system will be expanded to include retail after its successful adoption in the hospitality industry and health. And just in time for Christmas and the school holiday season, caps on home gatherings will be lifted from 10 to 50 people. For details, see covid-19.sa.gov.au.

Today’s news follows the announcements from the Western Australian and Queensland governments yesterday that those states will lift their border restrictions with SA. While WA will require SA travellers to quarantine for 14-days, the lifting of its hard border to SA and the full reopening of Queensland’s border, means travellers from those states can make plans for Christmas and the summer holiday period – and book up in our state. Accordingly, the SATC will ramp up our marketing efforts once again in these states to entice visitation here over the summer months. It is also good news for our second round of our Great State vouchers, which will be open to all Australians.  

I’ve been out in region this week and it’s been pleasing to hear from industry that there are strong forward bookings as we look to the end of the year, particularly as we see restrictions easing and people becoming more confident to travel.

The SATC has also confirmed this week some flagship events for 2021 which will create more reasons for visitors to come to Adelaide and our regions over the summer holidays and beyond – read on for a snapshot. It comes as other iconic South Australian festivals including Adelaide Festival and WOMADelaide recently announced details of their reimagined 2021 events.

As always, I will continue to keep you updated. I’m looking forward to waking up on Monday with a fresh sense of optimism for the upcoming summer, and for tourism in SA.

Rodney Harrex
Chief Executive



The Santos Tour Down Under will bring a new and reimagined cycling event to January, with the Santos Festival of Cycling on 19 to 24 January 2021. The six-day domestic cycling festival kicks off with an Adelaide Track Event at the Gepps Cross Superdrome, followed by a 4-stage National Road Series race with men's and women's stages, showcasing the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula regions. SATC’s Events South Australia team and Santos Tour Down Under race directors have worked hard to design the Festival to bring visitors and cycling fans from across Australia to Adelaide and regional communities. More here


The celebration of our state’s food and beverage industry is back in 2021, with today’s announcement of the program for Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel. Held from 30 April to 9 May 2021, the Festival will showcase the best that South Australia has to offer across more than 140 events and 11 regions. Festival highlights include a celebration of seasonal produce at Coriole Vineyards, a long lunch at Yalumba and a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at Pirate Life Brewing. You can also get set for a new-look ‘Town Square’ in Victoria Square and a focus on homegrown talent, paying homage to the hospitality industry that has done it tough in 2020. Details here.


See the full Industry Update – 8 December 2020 here.